A PUBLICAN who offered a young woman €8,000 to withdraw a criminal complaint she had made against a businessman was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Olive Kehoe (71) was convicted of perverting the course of justice through her actions two years ago.
Kehoe, of Main Street, Galbally, Co Limerick, had pleaded guilty before Cork Circuit Criminal Court to perverting the course of justice by offering the young woman a sum of money in return for her withdrawing a complaint made to gardai.
The garda complaint did not involve Kehoe and no details were outlined in court. Judge Sean O Donnabhain was told that the young woman had made a complaint to gardai involving an unnamed businessman on February 14, 2011.
Kehoe contacted the young woman on the pretext of helping her secure a job. They met in a pub and Kehoe said she could not have anyone working with her who was involved in an ongoing court matter.
The young woman was told that, if she withdrew her complaint, a sum of between €5,000 and €6,000 could be provided for her.
Judge O Donnabhain was later told that sum was increased to €8,000.
The young woman initially agreed but then informed her family, who advised her to inform gardai. On October 21, Kehoe met with the young woman and accompanied her to the garda station in the belief she would formally withdraw her complaint.
However, on arrival gardai put the events to her and Kehoe immediately made a full admission and later apologised to the young woman and gardai.
Judge O Donnabhain was told that Kehoe, a Limerick-based publican, has no previous convictions. No motive for her actions were given in court.
The judge imposed a two-year prison sentence but suspended it in light of the defendant's plea, her age, her remorse and the fact she did not stand to personally gain from what had happened.